Do you love putting puzzles together? It can be a relaxing time as long as you don’t get frustrated with the bigger puzzles! Those 1000-piece puzzles can get the best of you at times when there are a lot of similar colors. When I was younger, it was hard to find puzzles I liked in the stores, but there are so many more options now that you can buy them easily online. It’s fun because you can find themes that go along with your interests. Some of the best over the years have been “Where’s Waldo?” puzzles and Augmented Reality ones that use an app to bring the finished product to life using a phone or tablet.
Create Your Own Puzzle
I don’t usually have time to put puzzles together in one go, so it tends to take me at least a few weeks. Luckily, I have a nice sized table to work on where I can leave the puzzle. However, if you don’t have this option, there are puzzle mats that you can build your puzzle on. You can find them in stores, but can also try your hand at making one. I haven’t used these mats, but they also don’t look too hard to use and might be necessary if you’re lacking in space.
Saving Your Puzzle
Have you ever permanently saved a puzzle before? One thing you may enjoy doing with puzzles you love is to preserve your hard work using puzzle glue or another type of adhesive. Gluing it makes it much easier if you want to frame it and hang it up. Can you imagine trying to put a puzzle in a frame without this step? Everything would be in pieces, quite literally!
There are all kinds of puzzle glues and peel and stick options. If the store you go to has a section with puzzles, they’ll often have some of these options in the same location. A general crafting option you can use is Mod Podge as suggested here. It should go well as long as it is clear.
Some tips when gluing puzzles:
- Try not to glue your puzzle on top of cardboard or paper. When you use the glue, it can adhere to them and may rip the pieces apart after drying (learned the hard way). I used parchment paper after that as described here.
- Don’t overdue it on the glue initially, it can get soggy and warp the puzzle when drying.
- Make sure to spread the glue evenly over the puzzle and try not to miss any spots. You can do a second coat if the first one isn’t quite enough.
- Give the puzzle a few hours at least to dry before trying to move it!
- Check the puzzle for any debris before gluing! I have one with a little too much dog fur preserved.
The next step is to frame it! You want the frame to fit well because the puzzle can warp if it does not fit tightly in the frame. It’s hard to tell, but that’s happening to the “Wizard of Oz” puzzle in the picture above. I’ve had some luck measuring the puzzles and finding the correct size frame in either craft stores or online, but sometimes having a little bit of a border is fine! You may even be able to buy a custom frame if you want to spend the extra money to do so. However, there are ways to make your own if you’re handy! This is a good resource for the technical aspects of saving puzzles to frame them.
You can also do some Youngstown Public Library puzzles virtually! How quickly can you put these together? You can choose how many pieces you want to work with before you start.
- The pop-up in the middle of the screen will have a tiled icon to click.
- Once you click it, a menu will appear on the left-hand side. Choose the number of pieces.
- Go back to the center pop-up and click OK.
If you notice, there’s a timer in the upper right-hand side. See how long it takes you and challenge others to beat your time!
Select your Branch below to start your virtual puzzle:
Michael Kusalaba Library
Brownlee Woods Library